20/04/2017 at 15:04 #60906
AKA, “Phantoms Over Havana.” As usual, I will be posting the subsequent batreps on this thread.
Okay, standby for something a little bit different, something I’ve been meaning to get to for quite some time, and something we’re going to have to step back in time for. Here’s the deal: my intent for this massive Imagi-Nation-type alternate history was always to have a bunch of ground fights, but also some air to air fighting, and perhaps even some naval fighting. If you’re reading this I’m sure you’re aware of the eighty-four (84) battle reports for ground fights I’ve posted for Cuba Libre. Now it’s time for some air fights.
I just bought a new set of air rules called “Lacquered Coffins,” a set of WWII rules that (as always) I’ve modified a bit to suit my purposes in order to use for ‘modern’ aircraft (can you still call F-4s and MiG-21s modern?). My changes are thus:
-I play solo, so I need to mix it up. Rather than IGO-UGO, I’m using cards (one card per aircraft, with the aircraft tied to a particular card) for activation. So I do the mandatory move for every aircraft, then move to cards.
-I shortened the range for guns (6, Long Range 8), gave them 2D6.
-I made missiles minimum range 5, good out to 12, Long range 16, 4D6. I gave each aircraft four missiles. I know F-4s can carry more than four missiles, so if you like it better, think of it as four shots of two missiles 😉 I also am not currently differentiating between IR and radar missiles, I’m just getting into some new rules and want some quick, fun games.
-I added deflection as modifiers, side and front quarter -2 (the game already has head-on and tail, which is assumed).
-I can’t remember if this is in the book or not, but when a plane is going down I have the pilot make a test to bail out.
-I’m using a hexboard with 1/600 minis, so 1″ in the rules equals one hex.
Everything else is as written.
This is an even up, 4 vs 4 matchup, which I plan to do a few times while I learn these new rules, before getting into various force sizes and initial deployments. All of these will be straight up fighter duels; perhaps someday I’ll branch out into other stuff, but that’s what interests me right now. I’m not sure how many fights I’ll play out for the War of Liberation; I’m hoping for around ten, but it could be more (if I’m really enjoying myself) or less (if I run out of planes/pilots). Right now I’ll be simply referring to these guys by callsign, i.e., Boxcar 01. As they prove themselves (by surviving!) I’ll become more invested and begin to actually start naming them and getting into personalia.
The board, north is up. I’m using a hexboard from the old game “Flight Leader” (you can actually see the name in the bottom right corner). CLA Air Force in the southwest (bottom left) corner, Castro Air Force in the northeast (top right). I’m using the relatively new set, “Lacquered Coffins,” modified slightly. The airplanes are 1/600; the CLA flight consists of F-4 Phantoms from PicoArmor, the Castro flight consists of MiG-21s from Tumbling Dice.
Hopefully it isn’t too off-putting, but in an effort to make it more clear to readers, I’m now photo-shopping the pics and putting in identifiers (1-4) for the aircraft and brushing in trails to show maneuvers.
To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
The fight was a lot of fun; it flows well, mixing things up with the cards for activation worked like a champ, and everything made sense. It took a bit longer than I’d like; yeah, that’s always the case with new rules, but I gotta tell ya, I don’t think that factored in a lot, as the mechanisms were very familiar. I think more of the time is spent with the maneuvering, then manipulating the dice for altitude, speed, and missiles, which is a little bit of a pain in the butt, but worth it. Let me know what you think of me doing the batreps with the blue and red trails and black numbers (I’m already writing the next fight up the same way).
Next fight up in this series is the second flight, Blackjack 01-04, on another vanilla fighter sweep, taking on four Castro-regime MiG-21s, though I should be posting batrep number five of Operation Rush Delivery first.
Jack20/04/2017 at 16:37 #60914
Very interesting! Cool to see LC adapted for modern, I think your changes are very sensible and sounds like they worked well! Certainly an exciting batrep! lots of tense moments and I liked your explanations for all the failed pilot checks (especially ” …lots of chatter on the radio, and he finds himself a bit disoriented…”)
I know that modern will be the next phase in our Air Combat range, but it may be a while until I get around to writing that ruleset, as I have a modern land game to finish and playtest first. Modern air combat is definitely on the cards though, I always loved playing Falcon 4.0 and would like to implement something along those lines – different air elements contending with air defense and each other for air superiority, often at BVR ranges (yes, beyond visual range ranges 🙂 )
I have a feeling speed and altitude will be less important in a modern air game – its not so much dogfighting, as radar fighting and jamming, and countermeasure management. jinking to avoid incoming missiles, trying to tell friend from foe on the radar, that kind of thing. So hopefully I can work out modern air combat in a way that means you don’t have to track speed and altitude as much – focus on the things that matter like radar, missiles, staying out of IADS range and altitudes, detection, avoidance, communication, etc.
I would also think that the majority of pilots in a modern game would know exactly what they’re doing – pilot checks for maneuvers may well be removed all together, perhaps with pilot quality being more important in avoiding missiles or radar management. I would also like to make this modern game playable solo, as I think it would suit that.
I also like ‘veteran’ over ‘good quality’ as well!
Look forward to seeing what else you come up with! 🙂
Tom Jensen - http://ostfrontpublishing.com/20/04/2017 at 17:54 #60915
Nice report, and very easy to follow. 🙂20/04/2017 at 20:41 #60925
Tom – Thanks, I appreciate it, and I’m glad you liked it. I told ya I was going to buy the rules 😉 In any case, your modern adaptation sounds cool, and I’m sure I’ll take a look when it’s available, but the reason Lacquered Coffins is working for me is that I’m not looking for a modern aerial, BVR-type simulation, I was looking for an in your fact, down and dirty dogfight, WWII-style but with Hollywood jets and missiles. It works for me, but more appropriately, I think the rules are great for some WWII gaming, or some ‘throw reality out the window for some Maverick and Goose stuff’ like I just did. Lots of fun!
Vicki – Glad you liked it, and glad the format worked for you.
Jack21/04/2017 at 04:26 #60933
Easy to keep track of who was who, and exciting as well !!21/04/2017 at 14:51 #60968
Cool, thanks Old Man.
Jack22/04/2017 at 18:00 #61006
An interesting game and a vivid report. Well done and I hope you enjoy all such future games, even if they are at the expense of the true socialist Cuba! Thanks for posting this and making Migs and Phantoms go boom.
Cheers and good gaming.
Rod Robertson.22/04/2017 at 20:25 #61008
LOL !!! Plane go boom !!23/04/2017 at 18:56 #61034
Nice report Jack, looking foreward to the next one24/04/2017 at 01:55 #61044
Thanks guys, more exploding Phantoms and MiGs coming up Wednesday or Thursday, with next Operation Rush Delivery posting tomorrow.
Jack24/04/2017 at 01:57 #61045
The air ops make a nice change of pace.24/04/2017 at 17:58 #61064
Yep, they’ve been fun.
Jack27/04/2017 at 14:20 #61197
So it’s 0815 on 1 Feb 1990, and CLA aircraft are winging towards Castro’s Cuba from secret airfields in *REDACTED*, in support of CLA ground forces which have landed via parachute or amphibious assault. Two hours ago, Boxcar flight tangled with four MiG-21s of the Castro regime’s air force, which saw each side lose two aircraft in fierce dogfighting. CLA Air Force aircraft continue to execute near continuous sorties against ground targets, zooming in, bombing command and control centers, radar sites, grounded aircraft and their support facilities, moored ships and their port facilities, artillery and tank parks, ammunition and fuel storage, anti-aircraft sites, etc…, then heading back to rearm and refuel, then get back in the fight. Castro’s Air Force has managed to put another four MiG-21s into the air, and so Blackjack flight, consisting of four F-4 Phantoms, is vectored in to intercept the interceptors.
Red 01 and Blackjack 04 slash past each other, nose to nose. Red 03 recoils in horror as a Sidewinder destroys his wingman, Red 04 (not pictured); but he recovers quickly, pulling hard left, lining up a decent shot on Blackjack 04, and launching a missile. To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
Another fun fight, more coming up ASAP.
Jack27/04/2017 at 20:59 #61203
Victoria DicksonParticipant27/04/2017 at 23:44 #61206
Another good one Jack !!!28/04/2017 at 06:10 #61208
Another riveting battle! great stuff!
From my time in the F-16 sim that is Falcon 4.0, there is one alarm when someone gets a lock on you, and another, more urgent alarm when a missile is launched at you:
At about 0:44 you hear the radar signature of the enemy aircraft getting a lock on you (each aircraft type usually has a unique audio indicator – probably not with 50s tech though…), and then at 0:49 thats the missile launch alarm – its not a sound you want to hear!
Look forward to more modern dogfights! perhaps a close air support mission with fighters protecting some ground attack aircraft against enemy interceptors?
Tom Jensen - http://ostfrontpublishing.com/28/04/2017 at 16:23 #61235
Vicki – Thank ya, Ma’am, and I’m worried how long my creativity will hold out.
John – Glad you liked it buddy.
Tom – Cool video, thanks. Regarding changing the missions up, I’m sure I will at some point, but not yet. I like to play a slew of ‘samey’ games in a row with new rules in order to really work out all the kinks and cement them in my head. But I’ll get there.
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